There’s something strangely soothing (and satisfying) about Giants Software’s latest agricultural sandbox adventure.  It could have been the country tunes that gently wafted out of my tractor’s radio, or maybe it was the soft droning sound my harvester made as I collected my crops. I didn’t even mind that my first farm was a massive commercial failure, or that I made the rookie mistake of trying to expand my farming operations far too early.  There was something about Farming Simulator 17 that resonated with me.

FS17_3

You may mock the idea of a game about the fine art of farming, but one thing that’s undeniable is that Farming Simulator 17 is a serious simulator.  Don’t get me wrong, the game isn’t perfect; it’s an acquired taste. You could think of it as a thick slice of surströmming (fermented herring) on a thin slice of crispy bread. It may sound repulsive, but a few slices later, you’re in gastronomic heaven.

This year’s edition doesn’t re-invent the wheel but it improves on what came before by delivering a competent upgrade to the franchise.  It’s still not the best-looking game on the consoles, but it’s certainly a vast improvement on the last one. The various farm equipment (from vehicles, buildings to animals) show an impressive amount of detail, whereas the environment may seem a little lacking in some areas. There are two locations in the game: a sunny rural American town outfitted with diners and white picket fences, and a thoroughly depressing Russian obschchina (farming commune) – complete with rusty abandoned factories.

FS17_4

The core game can be played solo or with a friend (in co-op) mode. The game play remains unchanged from previous games. It boils down to a simple premise; it’s all about maximising your time, surviving the economy, turning a profit through agricultural wizardry and repaying your bank loans. Sadly, the core gameplay doesn’t change much between the two different locales. I was hoping that your chosen setting would have an impact on what you could grow or sell, or whether the local economy would dictate your choice of farm.

FS17_6

There isn’t a story to play through, instead –in pure sandbox fashion- you make of the game what you will. Do you want to start a wheat farm? Go forth and cultivate your fields! Do you want to farm with cows or more to the point, do you want a dairy farm or are you merely providing meat to the local abattoir? You’re the author of your own farming story.

FS17_8

This year’s version sees several new additions. For instance, you can finally play as a female farmer, grow sunflowers and soya beans or try your hand at pig farming.  Obviously, you’ll need to keep your pigs fed, keep their pens clean, make sure they have water and bedding, and only once you fulfil all their needs, you’ll reap the returns from the sows. After all, you reap what you sow!

screenshot06_en

There’s very little (if any) hand-holding in Farming Simulator 17. It’s the one part of the game that may confuse newcomers to the genre. The tutorials cover some facets of the game mechanics, but much of the game depends on trial-and-error. It is the one aspect of the franchise that I love, but I recognise that it’s something that could be improved on.

screenshot05_en

Another addition to the franchise (especially for my fellow farming brethren and sistren on consoles) is mod support. At the time of writing, only the developer has uploaded downloadable add-ons, but the hope is that in time contributions from the game’s wider community will add to the game.

Last Updated: October 27, 2016

Farming Simulator 2017
Farming Simulator 17 is the best version to date, and if you’ve ever been curious about what the genre is all about, now’s the best time to experiment with something a little different. However, it’s not a title that will appeal to everyone. This is after all a game about watching digital grass grow.
8.0
Farming Simulator 2017 was reviewed on PlayStation 4
69 / 100

22 Comments

  1. Ottokie

    October 27, 2016 at 12:02

    Can’t wait to play this!

    http://i.imgur.com/SZovZm8.jpg

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      October 27, 2016 at 12:09

      all the lolz

      Reply

    • Lu

      October 27, 2016 at 15:33

      Wrap it in foil and terrify some kid on Easter…….

      Reply

  2. Ottokie

    October 27, 2016 at 12:05

    Another question. Can we actually enter the farm house this time? xD

    Reply

  3. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    October 27, 2016 at 12:07

    Nice review, hope you had fun plowing

    Reply

  4. Admiral Chief

    October 27, 2016 at 12:09

    Can you farm bananas?

    Reply

  5. HvR

    October 27, 2016 at 12:18

    “Another addition to the franchise (especially for my fellow farming brethren and sistren on consoles) is mod support”

    Marijuana farm mod in 3 …. 2 ….

    Reply

    • Original Heretic

      October 27, 2016 at 12:40

      Then you get raided by the cops and suddenly it becomes GTA.

      Reply

      • HvR

        October 27, 2016 at 13:42

        Country music replaced by Cypress Hill

        oooo then sizzlean screens must be an in-game item

        Reply

  6. Andre Fourie

    October 27, 2016 at 12:34

    This must be boring AF.

    Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      October 27, 2016 at 13:00

      the word is “Zen”

      Reply

      • Andre Fourie

        October 27, 2016 at 13:11

        Like drinking bleach?

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

          October 27, 2016 at 13:35

          If by drinking bleach you can achieve a higher state of consciousness the yes

          Reply

  7. Andre Fourie

    October 27, 2016 at 12:37

    Only plowing and planting or do you like milk Bessie and shit.

    Reply

  8. Andre Fourie

    October 27, 2016 at 12:38

  9. Original Heretic

    October 27, 2016 at 12:55

    When Lagz first told us about this game, I thought Matty was going to review it and give us a glowing read about the benefits of cabbage farming.

    Reply

  10. amira bhatti

    October 27, 2016 at 13:20

    Farming Simulator is a farming simulation video game series developed by Giants Software. The locations are based on American and European environments. Players are able to farm, breed livestock, grow crops and sell all assets created from farming. The game has sold over four million copies.
    In career mode, the player takes on the role of a farmer. Their task is to expand on their “dated” farm and machinery. The main goal of the player is to harvest their crops and sell them in order to expand their farming enterprise (e.g. machines, fields, animals and buildings). The player is free to explore, grow from their choice of several crop types, and invest their money in additional fields and equipment. Livestock may be purchased, and then it is up to the player to care for the animals.
    http://www.mobiringtone.com/channel/19/tamil-ringtones/

    Reply

    • Ottokie

      October 27, 2016 at 13:22

      Now with extra Mobi Ringtones!

      trololol…nice try

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        October 27, 2016 at 13:33

        Banned with my farm hammer!

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

          October 27, 2016 at 13:33

          Or something

          Reply

  11. VampyreSquirrel

    October 28, 2016 at 08:22

    “only once you fulfil all their needs, you’ll reap the returns from the sows. After all, you reap what you sow!” God dammit Banana!

    Awesome review though man, I’m sure @ottokie:disqus will play the hell out of it.

    Reply

  12. eigafan

    October 29, 2016 at 00:03

    “The core game can be played solo or with a friend (in co-op) mode.” There’s no local co-op for this game, it is online multiplayer which requires a PS Plus subscription. That’s why online play is optional. It’s too bad that they haven’t added this option, I can see parents playing the game with their young children, and friends playing alongside each other. They actually disabled the new mission system for multiplayer, so it only works on single-player.

    Reply

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